by Kamie Robinson
EVEN YEHUDA, Israel — In October 2010, WBAIS Superintendent John Gates was invited to attend the closing banquet of the Peace Through Teacher Dialogue (PTTD) held at Na’amat Nazareth. While there, forPEACE Director Margret Ellwanger introduced Gates to Na'amat Nazareth Director Nadera Tannous. Their conversation led to an invitation from Gates to host a graduation pool party at WBAIS honoring the 2011 Na’amat Nazareth graduates.
Students that attend Na’amat come from low socio-economic backgrounds with little exposure to the world beyond their hometown. forPEACE, WBAIS and Na’amat leadership organized this event to reward those students who persevered to finish high school despite pressure to drop out, and to honor their achievements and let them know that their efforts are valued beyond their local community.
Both schools expectations were exceeded through this pilot joint event. The Na’amat girls as well as their teachers were touched by AIS’s warm welcome from faculty, staff, student volunteers, and members of the general public who support outreach initiatives within Israel.
AIS administration and volunteers were surprised by how easily they made new friends. WBAIS science teacher Nili Sadovnik already made plans to involve her honor society students in joint science activities with Na’amat Nazareth next school year.